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Brain Injury Basics

After a Brain Injury

A brain injury affects every part of a person’s life—their relationship with family, friends, and others they are close to.

No one knows what the final outcome will be. The long-term effects can affect thinking, be psychological, social, emotional, and/or physical. No two people are affected exactly the same way by a brain injury.

How someone looks on the outside doesn’t always tell you what the long-term effects are. This can cause problems because the person may look fine—people may wonder how he can have so many problems.

Family and friends may struggle to cope with the changes in behaviour the brain injury may cause. Family and friends may feel shocked, numb, guilt, afraid, angry, anxious, or depressed.

Roles and responsibilities may change within the family. This can cause stress, feeling burdened, and even depressed by the sometimes big changes in activities, responsibilities, schedules, leisure, and support needed to adjust to someone with a brain injury.

Many people with a brain injury can go home after rehabilitation. Family members may find that they have to do many of the things that the person used to be able to do. He or she may never be able to do some of these tasks ever again. These can include:

  • knowing how to behave socially
  • being able to think, problem-solve, and so on like before (cognitive)
  • going back to the job they had before the injury (vocational)

Along with the support of family and friends, other supports may be needed. This can include community resources, professional support, social service agencies, or through your place of worship. The person with the injury, his family, and his friends all need support while learning how to cope with the change in their lives.

To the person with the injury, going from being independent, active, busy with sports or hobbies, working, or having an active social life, to losing any of these because of the injury can be hard to accept. He may feel useless and depressed. Family and friends become the greatest source of support, yet they themselves are trying to cope with the changes.

It’s best to make big adjustments in small steps—take things a step at a time. It takes time for the brain to heal. Speak with a member of the healthcare team if you have questions or concerns.​

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